Now that NFL teams are converging on Indianapolis for the NFL Combine, I thought it would be a good idea to write up a glossary of sorts, explaining common phrases you might hear during the course of the next week. I’ll start off with offensive line oriented terms, as that’s what I know best.
Waist Bender– Being a ‘waist bender’ is a negative. It refers to an offensive linemen’s stance (usually a tackle) during pass protection. You want to see an OT having good knee bend, and keeping good center of balance. An OT who tends to bend at the waist is likely to be easily pushed off his block.
Kick Slide– Technique used by tackles to block the edge. Having a slow or clumsy kick slide is bad. Having a quick and steady one is good.
Good Anchor– Basically like it sounds. Refers to the ability to be a good anchor and not get pushed off a block.
Heavy hands– Usually refers to an offensive linemen’s hands. Having heavy hands means the lineman has a strong initial punch, which slows down the defender.
Road Grader– Refers to an offensive lineman who has a very large body, who is also usually a powerful blocker.
Gets Separation– Seems obvious, but it’s a phrase pertaining to the receiver’s ability to get space between himself and the defender.
Avoids The Trash– Usually refers to a defender’s ability to avoid other blocked players so he can make a play.
Pile Inspector– A player who doesn’t like to get involved in a scrum, or commit his body to the pile.
Body Catcher– A receiver who doesn’t attack the ball with his hands, but rather uses his body to make the catch.
Playing Speed vs 40 Time– Often a player will be said to have a faster playing speed than 40 time, or vice versa.
Plays Sideline to Sideline– Indicates that a player is agile enough to make plays all over the field ie- from one sideline to the other.
Fluid Hips Or Quick In The Hips– Refers to the ability for a player to turn his hips quickly and change direction.
I’d be surprised if you didn’t hear a few of these terms at least a couple times throughout the weekend. If I forgot one feel free to leave a comment.